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Bronte Unit Block is ‘Bourne’ Again

By Duncan Horscroft on June 7, 2016 in News

Photo: Hi-Pac Constructions

Photo: Hi-Pac Constructions

Properties in the Eastern Beaches area have been going through a major sea change as demand for quality coastal living has resulted in massive amounts of development in most areas.

Unfortunately many of the makeovers have resulted in a loss of original streetscapes and, where beautiful old weatherboard cottages once stood, architecturally designed structures now overshadow traditional dwellings.

Buildings that are not heritage listed are virtually doomed as property owners feel it is better to start from ground zero than restore a building.

There have also been a plethora of new unit blocks rising up through the suburbs, while many existing blocks have been earmarked for a facelift due to exposure to the salt air.

The so-called ‘Concrete Jungle’ at the top of Tamarama Gully has been pencilled in for a $20 million-plus makeover to overcome the massive problem of concrete cancer.

On the southern side of Bronte Beach, the Wimbourne block on the corner of Pacific Street and Bronte Road has undergone a major rebirth with new balconies and an aesthetically pleasing paint job over the old brickwork.

Included in the new work on the 35-unit site is a fire upgrade, new lift, waterproofing, lighting and gardens.

Mark Churcher, construction manager for BJC Constructions, said the building will now be known as ‘Rebourne’, and he believes this is one of the better re-developments in the area.

“It just goes to show what happens when a job is done properly,” he said.

“The job wasn’t hard, but it was challenging as we were working around the people living in the building and you had to keep your wits about you.”

It was only a few years ago that major repair work was done on the building, but as it was sub-standard, new contractors had to be called in.

“There has been a lot of bad press in the past (about shonky developers), but it’s all changed and there are strict engineering standards which have to be adhered to,” Mr Churcher said.

“In these jobs the quality of concrete is paramount and we made sure everything complied with the specifications.

“The secret was to get in front early and (after 22 months) we finished ahead of time.

“It just goes to show that if you have a good team you can be assured the job is done properly and the end result is a winner.”

Mr Churcher said it was going to be hard moving on to another project after spending almost two years in the dress circle at Bronte Beach.

“Yeah it’s been great working here and the view wasn’t bad either,” he said.

And what about the proposed Tamarama development?

“If you get the right people involved, there is no reason why that can’t be brought back to life,” he said.